Monthly Archives: July 2019

Self Fake News

 I put up a new episode of Why We Run. This one is called The Late Bloomers Run Club, where I talk to 3 runners who didn’t start running till the halfway mark of life, then went on to do incredible things. 
  I started to think of when I started running and why it took me so long to get to my first 3 miles. (It took me a year to do my first 5k)
I narrowed it down to three different stories I told myself that I needed to question, put them under a microscope to see if they were true, and then discard them as a piece of self fake news. 
Self Fake News #1: I am broken. When I was 14, my boyfriend at the time told me I needed to take track, cause I was getting fat. So I did. (this was before I knew where to tell jerks where to stick it.) My knees hurt like crazy and when I went to the doctor and he said that my knee caps were tilted, and I probably shouldn’t run anymore. So, I stopped, and felt like I was broken, and fat. I learned later that I wasn’t broken, and I was probably going through a growth spurt, and I was fine. I believed that doctor and boyfriend for years. I am glad I dumped them both. 
Self Fake News #2: I won’t fit in.  When I was in my 20’s, I didn’t know anyone who ran, and it wasn’t something my friends did. No one in my family did either, and I was so hesitant to start running out of fear of not fitting in. Which in hindsight is dumb, but it was that feeling of separating myself was a huge subconscious that it was a huge hurdle to get over. 
Self Fake News #3Quitting is easier.  Even before started running, I wanted to do a marathon. I am not sure where I came up with that particular goal, but it seemed like something I NEEDED to do. What drove me was wanting to know the feeling of accomplishing something feels like. I honestly had no idea how that felt. But when I got close to the end of my training, my head kicked in and was like, “ok, this is hard, this is the part when you quit.” That feeling I knew very well. But something in me wanted to taste of that finishing, and I did. But if I didn’t question that knee jerk reaction, I would not be the marathoner I am, and my life would be very different. 

So, I invite you to be curious about what your head is telling you and investigate the patterns that keep popping up for you when you are trying to reach your goal. Or maybe your story isn’t even allowing you to set goals. Everyone has these “fake news stories” in their head and it is important not to just take it for the gospel, but open them up and take a look at if they are really true. Here are a few that I hear in my head, and from my runners: 
I don’t have a runner’s body
I am too tired. 
I don’t have time.
I don’t know how to _______. 
I don’t have enough money. 

These are just a few. If you have one that I don’t have that you have told yourself, I would love to hear it.

Go get it, tiger! 
Coach Beth

Fun With Fear

*Pre-note. I am afraid of everything. I try to get past all the fear via running, and that helps push me past a few of my 10,000 fears. I have learned more about getting over my fear by trail running than anything else. OK, read on. *
A few years ago, my legs and I were flying along an amazing trail next to the Deschutes River, and we were all having a blast! I felt like a 10-year-old on a roller coaster. My whole body was just giddy and I felt completely alive. Then, all of a sudden, the party stopped and a little weird feeling knocked on the door like a cop breaking up a kegger on prom night. Dammit! I was just falling in love with this moment and then YOU show up. Fear, you see, was pointing out to me that I was maybe going a wee bit too fast, and that those rocks that I was effortlessly navigating not two minutes before, were all aiming for me now; all poised to pull me down and mess up my face. So, what did I do? I slowed down and my feet started to shuffle. Then a pencil size tree root found my toe, pulled my foot under my body, and I went like in all slow-motion action. Of course, it didn’t hurt…I even started laughing because it was so transparent. If you are having fun and totally at the moment, fear is going to whisper something sweet and scary to you and it will push you down if you let it drive your mind.

A wise man once told me, “tramps like us, baby we were born to run.” Well, sorry Boss, but some of us were not born to run. I had to learn how to do it over a long and agonizing year of cussing, crying, and a few tantrums on my way to my first 5k. It took me so long because I was scared. I was scared I was going to die, or that I looked dumb. I worried that if I was a runner, I wouldn’t be cool anymore (I was never cool by the way). Or I freaked out that I would have to start actually taking care of my body and not feed it garbage wrapped in beer cans anymore. I eventually got over it, and upon doing this and talking to people, I realized that the biggest hurdle inhibiting people from running was that they were afraid. Yep, our buddy and sometimes a jerk, fear. I kept hearing from people that they were afraid of being chased, afraid of feeling alone and vulnerable, and my favorite (because I remember this very well), looking weird and getting made fun of. It all comes down to fight or flight. And when we first start running as adults, these fears turn our lizard brains on and we feel like, well… We are going to die. But, as you all know, we aren’t going to die from running. Not today at least.

So, slingshot forward to many years of running dozens of full and half marathons, and now I coach people on running their first 5k’s and other races to come. This is great, but I get bored with road running. So, I got a coach and started trail running. Day one, up up up we went, and that familiar little panicky fear friend showed up yelling really loudly in my head. But this time it had a whole new tactic. “You are in the woods? You’re going way too slow, you are going to get left behind. I do believe that was bear scat you just stepped over. Oh my God! You are going to fall and hurt yourself!” It was all of those things at the same time, and loud. I thanked that choir of quitters for sharing and went on my lovely run. And I am so happy I stuck to it. Trail running brings my heart and soul together and fills up every empty bucket I have in my body. It also reminds me that fear will always be with you, it’s just how you use it. Jess Mullen, one of my coach friends who runs 100 milers for funsies, told me this, “I love fear. It drives me and let’s me know I’m on the right path. If I’m not facing some level of fear, I’m not living life as richly as I could.” I so love this, and I feel it changes the paradigm of fear to fuel for the fire. So, with all my grand wisdom of being a scared little newbie of a runner and getting over myself, and then starting trail running and being new at that, I have collected a trifecta of Go’s to get past fear and get your badass running on.

*Go Slow: Being out of the normal element of your go-to running track will elevate your nerves and get your heart rate going. So, when you start out, know this is going on, and be kind to yourself by slowing down your normal pace a bit. And with trail running, there are fun obstacles like mud, hidden rocks and tree roots that will jump out of taking you down.

*Go with a buddy who gets you going. Being out on a trail is a little daunting, and when the thought of, “who is going to call 911 when I fall off that cliff” creeps into your head, you will have another person there. It’s also nice to share the scenery and loveliness of it all.

*Go fall. Just do it. The anticipation of the fall is so much worse than the actual fall. Usually, the ground is soft, or muddy, and you’ll have the badass bruise for bragging rights.

Why Race?

Why Race?
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I would like to defend the case of why runners should try on a race from time to time. I’m arguing on behalf of my past self, who was apprehensive on running a 5k when I started running. I was in the mindset that just the running to run was just fine. I had nothing to prove to anyone, therefore did not need to spend money to run the same route I did every other day. But you see my sweet jury, I was wrong, and I would like to educate you on why running races not only needed for runners, but is actually fun, and adds so much more to your passion and dare I say…to your life.  

Exhibit 1: Accountabilty
Let’s face it, races are not cheap, and are not getting cheaper. But if you need some motivation for a scary goal, I HIGHLY recommend throwing down part of a car payment on a race that makes you wanna barf a little. If it scares you, then you will train for it, and do everything to get to that start line and hopefully the finish line.

Exhibit 2: Bling
This is not my thing, but there are a lot of people who LOVE the pretty finisher medal at the end of a race. This also might start the collection of medals which is fun to hang up and compare to each other when you need a push of motivation. (Wait, maybe it IS my thing.) There is a special feeling of someone placing a big hunk of achievement around your neck after a long run. It feels pretty good. 

Exhibit 3: Measuring stick
I still get goose pimples when I see a big ol start line. Then there is a crowd of people, water stops and of course a glorious finish line that makes me kick ass. Running races does add an extra push to your pace. If you are motivated by going fast, this is the best way to show yourself of your potential and it’s a great marker of how far you have come. 

Exhibit 4: Destination/Vacation
Imagine a bunch of your friends, sharing a house in a lovely destination and spending the weekend together. Then imagine at the end of your weekend, you all take to the roads and explore your locale with a bunch of other people for 3-50 miles. On top of that, at the end of that run, you celebrate yourselves with cheers of something frosty, sweaty hugs and a heart full of memories. Sounds pretty wonderful huh. Well, it is, and this is one of my favorite reasons to run races; to surround yourself with a beautiful place, with lovely friends to top off your full heart. 

On your mark, Get Set. GO!
Coach Beth

p.s. here is an old blog of my favorite races. 
p.p.s. For a good racing time, check out Snohomish Running Company

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